Count Your Blessings

“Count your blessings, name them one by one…and see what the Lord has done…” John Oatman Jr.


It’s November and as usual, our minds turn to Thanksgiving, family gatherings, and my 62nd birthday (November 20)! I am so excited, proud and thankful to have reached this milestone—many of my friends and loved ones did not—but there’s so much more to be thankful for. After the devastating mass shootings, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, confusion, hatred, strife, death and destruction, we are still here, strong, and still standing. As we prepare for this season of thankfulness, slow your roll and be grateful for things we take for granted. Like…

Our veterans, especially wounded warriors this Veterans Day. As the adage goes: “all gave some but some gave all.” I am indebted to our men and women in uniform who work (have worked) tirelessly to keep us safe both far and near and the sacrifices they and their families make. When our soldiers are on active duty, spouses and family members take up the slack and the holidays and its separations can be extremely difficult. After repeated deployments, re-entry may be challenging as well. Be deliberate and generous this Veterans Day in your appreciation of those who serve—also remember first responders and their families.

Volunteers. You find them at the library, delivering Meals on Wheels, working in the hospital gift shop, making beds at the shelter, mentoring, ringing the Salvation Army bell, (be on the lookout soon) helping at local schools, visiting nursing homes, sorting cans of food and clothes —anywhere you go, they’re lending a hand, softening the blows, offering kindness and compassion. This month find an hour or two and make a difference too.

Your roadies or ride or die friends. We may not be able to adequately define these phrases but we absolutely know of one when we see one. Like magic, they show up when the chips are down–when you’re so low you don’t even make a shadow in the sunlight. They’re the ones who go the extra mile and don’t moan and whine about how long it took and why the roads aren’t paved. Text or email these special people this Saturday and tell them it’s “Thank your best friend Day” and say what you would if this was your/their last day on earth. Assure them you’re not dying, you’re simply recognizing how rich you are because of them.

Being richly blessed comes in all shapes and sizes so be thankful for what you have as well as what you do not have. I have vitiligo on my face and hands (the skin condition that plagued Michael Jackson) and while it scares the wax out of little children, it doesn’t hurt, it won’t kill me, and it never fails to spark a conversation with a stranger who has it/knows somebody who has it/just wants to know what the heck it is. Now when I’m not wearing make-up, someone always comments on my beautiful nose and hands. I hadn’t thought about vitiligo as a blessing but because I’m counting, it’ll be #4,999,000,228!

Be kind to veterans/service members/first responders and their families this month and keep shining!

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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